Friday, February 15, 2013

My Reflection of 5301 Research

   As I reflect back upon this course, 5301 Research, I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to attend this course!  I have learned so much and am already growing as an educator that leads.  The lectures that I have viewed by Dr. Jenkins, Dr. Arterbury, Dr. Abshire and especially the videos of Dr. Briseno, Dr. Chargois, and Dr. Lewis have enriched my studies.  I especially enjoyed the advice Dr. Lewis extended to us explaining that our research doesn’t have to be fu-fu and glitzy!  It should be practical and be something that we personally have a desire to learn more about.  Dr. Chargois’ video inspired me due to the fact he stated that any research you do must always lead back to helping our students achieve more. 
   The readings, electronic searches of topics, assignments and activities have all been enjoyable as I have learned something new with all of them.  I will keep the books, Leading with Passion and Knowledge, The Principal as Action Researcher by N.F. Dana and Examining What We Do to Improve Our Schools, 8 Steps from Analysis to Action by S. Harris, S. Edmonson, and J. Combs in my professional library as I work towards becoming an administrator.  They are books I can share with my staff as I am now beginning to see the broader picture of the responsibilities of an administrator from reading these books.  The strategies introduced with the “Harris” book seem so straight forward and highly beneficial.  I especially liked the Delphi method as a tool for developing a deeper understanding and a great strategy for identifying ways to improve school needs.  Using this method, the participants are encouraged to reconsider and revise their answers in light of the collection of information from other members of the group.  The involvement of the people who would be affected by a new decision or change are the very ones who implement this strategy.  As I become a school leader, these processes towards improvement of a school is vital!  The course assignments helped me reflect upon the learning found in these books that I have mentioned above.  The reflections in the assignments helped me prioritize the learning and how to apply it.  As I still have a lot to learn in my Master’s program, I will learn so much with my action research.  I will remember that the Leadership and Research courses set the beginning building blocks for my program.  Again, I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to learn so much through these two courses.
   When I reflect upon the new friendships I have encounter on this journey towards new knowledge a smile enters my face.  Even though I have not met anyone personally, I feel a sense of bonding with them as we are all on the same journey.  The group discussions have helped me understand the assignments, readings and pushed my expectations to do more than what I thought I could.  The feedback and encouragement from the discussion board and the blogs have been helpful in my growth.  I had never developed a blog before and with the Research course, I now have my own blog.  The comments that others have shared with me regarding my research have helped me to rethink my ideas.  Being able to read their blogs, lends a comparison that helps me understand the concepts better.  For them to share their learning and feelings, it has helped me gain courage and insight within my own learning.  I look forward to leading others and helping my staff be the best teachers possible.  Our children deserve nothing but the best.  They have one chance to be in school and those school years will help define who they are and who they will become.  We, as leaders, must accept the challenge and be willing to change, grow and nurture them with all that we have.  I am excited to be part of this and look forward to becoming an administrator some day!  I am thankful that I have this opportunity for others to affect my life and I hope that I have affected the lives of others!